Freekey Zekey

The Book of Ezekiel

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Since things move fast in the Diplomats' purple world -- blink and you might miss a mixtape, a downloadable exclusive, or an affiliated release -- Freekey Zekey's three-year stint in prison on a drug rap meant he missed an avalanche of product, some of which even went Top Ten. The hypeman, the skit master, the sleaziest part of the Dipset crew, and, believe it or not, the check-signing president of Diplomats Records used that time to hulk up and turn his interlude shouting and spouting into rapping. Eight months after his release, the full-length Book of Ezekiel lands with a whirlwind of sleazy tracks that contain plenty of trashy laughs (no surprise) and plenty of hooks with slick and fresh beats underneath (big surprise). Two words in and he's cussing, but two tracks in and he's winning with the men-only "Daddy Back," featuring a delicious laid-back beat from J.A. Talent scouts could up their cred by stealing away some of the unknown producers who brighten the album with great ideas like the summery sway Flava Beats lays on "Livin' It Up." Da does a great job of imitating the polished hip-hop love number on "Steph," but no one will mistake Freekey for Usher when he offers "You know it's love when you make up/And you think she's still pretty" or "I can't hump myself." Anyone who enjoyed his over the top appearances on Dipset skits will get more shameless trash than they can handle, since there's three years worth here. Watching his Dipset crew blow up without him over those years has influenced Freekey to hit the ground running, and the infectious enthusiasm makes it easy to ignore that the album is a bit front-loaded and overwhelming if taken all at once. Shuffle it, slice it in half, and leave your morality at home while enjoying Freekey at his freakiest.

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